31st August 2021 marks my 3 year anniversary of my last radiotherapy session for tonsil cancer.
You may think this is a strange title, but one of the good things that’s come out of the last 3 years is we have increased our circle of friends through my cancer diagnosis. We’ve met up with quite a few of theses whilst on our travels in the U.K. this year which has been a bonus. I am still running along with Dani a few what’s app groups which we started. When covid first started it became apparent some people would appreciate our help.
Just to give hope to anyone starting out or in treatment, if you would have said to me in the dark days of diagnosis and waiting for tests, that 3 years on I would have done the following, I wouldn’t have believed you; Travelled to the apartment for a total of 49 weeks (including almost 10 months of not being allowed out if the country). 7 U.K. trips mostly to Wales but also discovering the delights of Hadrian’s wall country in Northumberland.
Our step granddaughter Meg had another little girl Cordelia to add to Delilah and Penelope, plus get to see her married to Kaine. Our step grandsons Dan and Liam settle down in their own houses with their girlfriends Loreta and Lucy respectively. Also this September James our grandson starts his final year at junior school .Thankfully all the way through our daughter Nicola and her husband Mel have never treated me any differently, for which I’m grateful I am not a touchy feeling person, they were there when I needed them. None of these would have been possible without the excellent care I received from the NHS and not forgetting John my long suffering husband, who readily admits he no longer hears me say ‘my mouth is dry’ as he’s heard it all before .
What’s new with me; the fibrosis I started with in December last year, is now manageable on the rare occasions it appears. It still seems to be that preparing vegetables is the main culprit, so I tend to pass that on to John. Its the cutting action onions, potatoes seem to be the worst. Dry mouth it’s still there but no longer the Sahara desert type of mouth. Overall I would say 80% of the time I have a decent amount of saliva. Nighttime I still use 1/2 a xyimelt, plus odd sips of water. Food wise I doubt now at 3 years a spicy hot chilli or curry will ever pass my lips again. I have tried the odd sip of alcohol but for me it’s a no no, I get dry mouth straight away, so it’s water or an occasional Diet Coke.
One thing that I am still getting is burning tongue, this seems to be worse when I’ve had cheese (cooked cheese is ok) or yoghurt both of which are fermented. So I now limit my intake of both which is a shame as I adore cheese but needs must.
Talking with friends in what’s app group, at least 6 of them are experiencing cognitive impairments, for some concentration has gone, others find words don’t come out as quickly as they used to, and others experience short term memory loss. All the above are a late onset radiotherapy side effect. Luckily for me I am not experiencing any of them, I regularly do puzzles, sudoku, solitaire, reading and crocheting all of which I need to concentrate on, so maybe that helps, who knows. Everyone is different as we always say, the others are keeping a close eye on themselves and will repost back to the consultants.
That’s about all for now, so onwards and upwards to infinity and beyond. I will update blog as and when.